Let’s Fix Work Episode 74

We talk about and “remember” 9/11 in America in a very callous way, without truly remembering that nearly 3,000 people died at work. Nearly 3,000 people. A lot of people have memories of 9/11, but my memory of that day started a week or so before when I began my orientation at One World Trade Center. 


This week I wanted to share with you my thoughts on old Labor Day traditions, the emergence of the “new” Labor Day and remembering 9/11.  If the topic of terrorism is hard for you (as it is for many of us) or you’ve lost someone on 9/11, this episode might be one you want to skip. 

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  1. My memorial to Claudia Martinez Foster
  2. Why the idea of Labor Day as a union holiday is an old and stupid idea
  3. The New Labor Day, a day for remembering, a day of service and moving towards self-awareness
  4. A reminder that you have a chance to do something great, don’t blow it



On September 11, 2001, Claudia was a twenty-six-year-old newlywed who had babies on her mind. She went to work one beautiful morning, as an assistant broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, she never returned home to her husband and family. If you read the tributes and search for her name on Google, you can feel an excruciating sense of loss.

At twenty-six, she had barely started to live her life. Her obituary said that she loved children and she wanted a family, but who knows what her life would have been. She could have traveled the world. She could have seen so much. She could have had a lot of children. She could have volunteered. There would’ve been millions of ways that she could have changed the world, if it weren’t for some stupid act, a senseless act.

On September 11th, she lost her life at work and I will never, ever stop writing about her. On September 11th, I will always remember her. I will always remember her story.


The idea that Labor Day is some union holiday is an old stupid idea. The New Labor Day is where we move incrementally to a moment of self awareness, of self-actualization, where we understand who we are, why we’re doing what we’re doing, and even if we’re not doing it with passion, even if we’re not doing the thing we love or we feel like we were put on earth to do, we should do it with integrity and appreciation. And if we’re not doing it that way, we should stop and do something else or at the very least, start to work on a plan to fix our lives.


September 11th is New Labor Day. It is a day for remembering, but it is also a day of service. We should think about who we are and why we go to work, why we labor, why we do the things we do every single day and we should remember all of those whose lives have been cut short in the act of working. And then finally, we should be kind to our friends, to our family members, to our community. We should go out, we should volunteer, we should visit with people who need our company and our comfort.

Resources from this episode:

Claudia Foster, 26, broker’s assistant, loved children

Claudia Martinez Memorial

It’s Important to Remember

Cocktails Before the Collapse

Project 2996

And on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Project2996/

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